To go on an adventure with your usual pack of traveling wolves has been tried and tested.
But if you feel like wanting to experience something different from what you’re used to, going solo might tickle your senses.
While there are concerns raised when you decide to travel on your lonesome for the first time, they should not completely hold you back. In fact, these should only be your guiding light to ensure you stay safe throughout the journey.
Drop your worries and doubts behind, muster up the courage to do something you’d be thankful for. To help ease your mind, here are seven useful tips you can use when you travel solo.
1. Inform your loved ones
The number one unspoken rule of traveling solo is to let your family or friends, first and foremost, know about your plan and where you are heading to.
They must know the details of your trip, most especially when traveling to a remote area where access to phone calls and internet connection is sparse.
You should give your family member a copy of your schedule so they know when to expect your arrival at your next destination. If something unusual happens, they’ll know what to do and who to call for emergencies.
It’s a good thing we now have social media for instant connection with our families back home. You must update them about your whereabouts for your peace of mind and theirs as well.
2. Pick a safe destination
As a first-time solo traveler, your destination of choice is a huge deal in determining whether you’re up for a great start or end up with regrets.
We highly suggest you take the safe route first, and by that, we mean a country with a reputable tourism background. It’s important to prioritize your safety above all since this will only be your first time to explore on your own.
You’ll likely be safe on the street with other travelers, solo or group, and locals who won’t give you a hard time going about this first time experience. Trust that countries like this will give you that sense of freedom to do things on your own, all while reminding you to be respectful of their space and culture.
3. Do your research
Research is as important as choosing your destination. Since it’s foreign ground we’re dealing with here, you have to arm yourself with proper knowledge regarding rules and regulations, certain cultures that you may be unfamiliar with, and even their transport system.
It’s important to stay ahead of the game, and be prepared to go your way around— that or be completely surprised you brought all the wrong types of clothing because you didn’t do your research. Let’s not assume that all countries share the same transport rules, weather, and safety measures.
We live in a diverse world, and that’s the beauty of traveling. We get to experience this diversity and learn from it. So the next time we go flying, we’ll know by then how research plays an important role in making sure we stay safe while having fun during this adventure.
4. Don’t overpack
It’s understandable if you want to pack all sorts of this and that to ensure you have more than enough clothes and essentials for the trip. While this may seem like a good trick, it won’t last that way for long. You’ll soon realize how heavy it is and how you have to carry it around the airport to airport, streets, and alleys, and then from your hotel back to the airport—all on your own.
That’s why we highly recommend you pack as light as possible but enough to last the entire trip. You have to make sure your carry-on dimensions will fit all your necessities while letting you roam around freely without the fear of a terrible back spasm.
5. Be friendly to locals
Try as much to be friendly to locals because in case you haven’t noticed yet, you’re the stranger in this side of the story.
You have to be nice when asking for directions from the grocery store personnel, or when you’re asking for a translation. You do just that, and you might get an authentic local travel guide from none other than the people who were born and bred in the country you are visiting.
6. Try to blend in
To sashay your way around foreign streets with your gadgets and valuable jewelry on display is unnecessary. No matter how safe you may feel walking around a new territory, it’s still best to keep a low profile to avoid pickpockets trailing.
7. Trust your instincts
Your gut feel will save you from an ugly turn, that’s for sure. If your inner voice tells you not to take that road, don’t. It may seem like an eccentric way of knowing things, but there’s nothing to lose when you decide to follow your instincts.
When you’re traveling on your own, you only have yourself to trust in making decisions. You may argue with that voice inside your head, but you have to trust one another— no matter how ludicrous it may sound.
Traveling solo is a revolutionary way of discovering more about yourself and your potential. You don’t need to be a daredevil to try it. You only need to have enough fun bones in your body to take a shot at a solo adventure.